We believe that water is a basic human right. Where there is water, there is life. Water is the basis for all forms of development. Despite efforts to change the plight of those without safe water, there remain 783 million people without safe water.
Water changes lives:
Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and polio. Contaminated drinking water is estimated to cause 502,000 diarrheal deaths each year.
Teaching hand washing with soap can break the cycle of diarrhea and prevent nearly half of all cases of childhood diarrhea.
The device shown on the left is made for washing hands – teaching good sanitation at well sites.
sanitation and hygiene
Addressing the sanitation crisis goes hand in hand with providing safe water.
2.3 billion people are still without access to toilets or improved latrines. Almost one million people still practice open defecation which perpetuates a vicious cycle of disease and poverty.
Individuals become empowered and free from waterborne illnesses with safe water and applying sanitation and hygiene practices.
The activity of collecting water and waterborne illnesses from contaminated water keep children from attending school. Diarrhea is responsible for children missing a cumulative 272 million school days each year.
When water comes from improved and more accessible sources, people spend less time and effort physically collecting it, meaning they can be productive in other ways.
With children particularly at risk from water-related diseases, access to improved sources of water and sanitation and hygiene practices can result in better health, and therefore better school attendance, with positive longer-term consequences for their lives.
quality of life
On average, globally, women and children spend 200 million hours every day collecting water, often for water that’s already contaminated.
Walking for water can be very dangerous. Many times, the walk can be treacherous and up to four miles in length. When walking alone, women and girls are vulnerable to sexual attack.
When safe water becomes more easily accessible women and children can also provide some of the greatest positive change; children are able to attend school and women have more time to care for and earn money for their families. They become empowered and poised to break the cycle of poverty and envision unlimited possibilities. Every dollar you invest in safe water and sanitation yields $4 in health care savings, improved health and time saved.
WHO Fact Sheet #391, July 2014, reviewed March 2018
The Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing
WHO Fact Sheet #392, Sanitation 2017 Update
Water for Women, UNWatr.org, 2015
Global costs and benefits of drinking water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG targets and universal coverage, WHO (2012)
WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program for Water Supply and Sanitation. “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water 2010